Four nurse anesthesia students work in the SIM lab using the GUS simulator
News Release

Georgetown’s School of Nursing Receives Grant to Upgrade Simulation Center

Media Contact
Karen Teber,

WASHINGTON (September 8, 2023) — The E. L. Wiegand Foundation has awarded Georgetown University’s School of Nursing a grant of more than $825,000 to upgrade the school’s nursing simulation center — enriching student learning experiences that replicate realistic patient scenarios.

The O’Neill Family Foundation Clinical Simulation Center plays an essential role in the education and licensure of Georgetown’s undergraduate and graduate nursing students by providing hands-on clinical-skills development, clinical reasoning, and decision-making experiences in immersive patient-care scenarios simulating a hospital environment. Training there augments in-patient clinical care training while also enabling students to learn in a safe environment where they can practice clinical competencies and communication while receiving feedback as they learn.

The sim center was established in 2002 through the generosity of Georgetown alumni Timothy O’Neill (L’77) and Linda O’Neill (NHS’77). The E. L. Wiegand Foundation grant elevates the dynamic learning environment with the addition of new high- and low-fidelity simulators, state-of-the-art operational and support technology, and a renovation to optimize the sim center’s current space.

“Simulation is critical to training students to become highly skilled nurses,” says Kelli Giffin, MSN, RN, manager of the simulation center. “Unlike in a clinical setting with live patients, simulation allows students more opportunity to practice by doing rather than merely by observing.”

When the renovation and upgrade are concluded this spring, the new sim center will include general and advanced skills suites with advanced equipment including:

  • The replacement of seven hospital beds and the addition of accompanying headwalls, three updated Pyxis Medication Dispensing Systems, 10 new IV pumps, and two new EKG machines, enabling the students to function in a simulated hospital environment.
  • New high-fidelity mannequins that allow for greater flexibility and practice.
  • Four new “Sophie and Her Mum” trainers for simulating child birth and gynecological care.
  • Upgraded central line trainers with ultrasound capabilities, additional ultrasound machines, epidural and spinal injection trainers, and cricoid stick trainers for creating emergency surgical airways will provide vital hands-on training in specific procedures.
  • New digital audiovisual equipment to allow teams of students in an adjacent room to learn from those colleagues who are practicing procedures directly.

“One of the most important aspects of our renovated sim center will be the creation of a more equitable learning setting in which all students are afforded the same experience and will receive feedback on how they communicate and interact with patients,” says Roberta Waite, EdD, RN, PMHCNS, ANEF, FAAN, the School of Nursing dean. “Such feedback includes uncovering cultural bias, which can be more readily addressed in a simulation’s learning environment than in a health care setting, where patient safety is the highest priority.”

In addition, the remodeled sim center will reduce the limitations on simulation group sizes and increase the number of nurses Georgetown educates to help alleviate the nursing shortage crisis in the U.S.

The renovations and purchase of equipment are expected to begin this fall and be complete in early 2024.

“We are tremendously grateful to the E. L. Wiegand Foundation for sharing our vision of teaching the art of science and allowing us to create an environment that amplifies our Jesuit values of discovery and best care for the whole person,” Waite says. “This grant will significantly transform our learning environment.”

This grant is the latest example of the foundation’s decades-long commitment to supporting education at Georgetown University, which has included funding construction of the W. Proctor Harvey Amphitheater and supporting the Walsh School of Foreign Service.

philanthropic support
SIM Center